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Recovery Runs

The Question

This question is from Luke, who's curious about recovery runs:


“I hear a lot about recovery runs. Are they just slower runs or do they actually have anything to do with recovering?”

Our Coach's Answer

Simon - running coach
Simon Loughran - Middle-distance runner and UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) and Athletics Coach

“As with so many running terms, different people use "recovery run" to mean different things.

Some use it to mean the same thing as an easy run. So, there are no restrictions on how long the session is, just that it is easy-paced.

Others use it to mean slower than easy run pace.

Others - and this is my personal preference - use it to mean a run that promotes recovery. The key idea is that going out and performing a recovery run should have a greater positive effect on recovery than doing nothing. If your goal is recovery then you should be really careful about running too fast or doing too much, otherwise your efforts will have the opposite of the intended effect.

In this sense, the runs are a form of "active recovery" Active recovery doesn't have to include running: walking, massage, warm baths, stretching, swimming, and any light activity can get blood flowing and improve recovery.”

Our Member's Answer

Gromit in Guildford races hard so should know a thing or two about recovery runs.

Gromit - hard racer

“I like going for a recovery run the day after a hard race (which is a lot - I LOVE racing). I always keep it short and just try to feel like the run is restoring energy rather than being extra training.”

Thanks, Gromit. Cracking response.

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